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Home | Tag Archives: sisd marchfest

Tag Archives: sisd marchfest

What To Look For at this Weekend’s SISD Marchfest

This Saturday, October 20, a host of bands will take the field in the all-day, two-part marching contest sponsored by the Socorro ISD.

There are several reasons way you should go out of your way to see this one, even if you intend to travel to Las Cruces next week for Tournament of Bands.

The first big reason to make sure to see the Marchfest this year is for who’s NOT going to Tournament of Bands- namely, the 6-A bands from El Paso. All six of them advanced to the Area contest being held on October 27th in Odessa, so the chance to see the 5-A powerhouses take on the 6-A powerhouses only happens one time this year- at the Marchfest.

Yes, I realize many of these bands have already competed together at UIL, EPISD, and even the T-bird Invitational, but UIL and EPISD are ratings-only contests, utilizing a different format.

The T-bird Invitational used the same format as will be employed at Marchfest and Tournament of Bands, but the T-bird contest was missing some groups that are in the mix of the “Titans of the Turf,” as I like to call them.

Second, this is a big contest where entries are concerned. 27 bands are competing, so chances are good your favorite band is going to be among them. And with some luck, you’ll be able to see them twice, as more than half of the competitors will advance to the finals round, which brings us to reason #3 to attend.

More bands are making it to finals this year, and more bands will win awards. Yep, that’s right. The staff at Socorro Fine Arts have slightly revamped this contest, and all for the better, in my mind.

Bands will be in either class B, for smaller bands, or class A, for larger bands. 6 out of 12 class B bands will advance to a separate class B finals round, while 8 of the 15 class A bands will duke it out in their own finals. This change makes for a much better experience for the bands and all of us band fans, too.

Seeing all the bands compete at the SISD Marchfest is easy, too. If you don’t want to spend all day at the Socorro Athletic Complex, you can watch the live-stream on the El Paso Herald-Post website, which will air the entire contest from start to finish.

The preliminary rounds start at 8:00 in the morning with the class B bands, while class A kicks off at noon.

Finals start at 5:00 p.m. for class B, and 6:45 for class A, with awards slated for about 9:30 Saturday night. Admission to the contest for students or adults is only $5.


Author – Lorraine Kubala

The complete schedule can be viewed on the ‘Musical Notes- The Blog’ page on Facebook.  

Click here for a complete listing of all the ‘Bandtober’ Events


Once again, the El Paso Herald-Post will be providing band fans with LIVE, STREAMING coverage of SISD’s Marchfest on October 20, 2018!

Video+Info: SISD’s MarchFest2018 to Be Streamed Live on Herald-Post

Area Bands ‘Tune Up’ For UIL Competition at EPISD Invitational at Franklin High

27 bands took the field at Franklin High School Saturday, as El Paso ISD hosted their invitational contest for area marching bands.

Serving as adjudicators for the event were Valentino Leyba, Kevin Moreman, and Shawn Silva, all band directors in the Las Cruces Public Schools. Instrumental Coordinator Julio Castillo was the contest organizer.

Due to the large number of bands entered, the contest was divided into morning and afternoon sessions. An awards ceremony was held at 11:30 after the first 13 bands performed. After a lunch break, the afternoon saw another 14 bands take the field, capping the day with an awards ceremony for these bands at the final conclusion of the contest.

Receiving first divisions, which denotes a “Superior” performance, were Franklin, Riverside, Parkland, Hanks, Bel Air, Eastlake and Del Valle High Schools in the morning session, and Irvin, Burges, Americas, and Coronado High Schools in the afternoon.

Bands receiving second divisions, denoting an “excellent” performance, were Horizon, Eastwood, Ysleta, and Socorro High Schools in the morning, and El Paso, Andress, Jefferson Silva, and Chapin High Schools in the afternoon.

Bands receiving a third division, or “good” performance, were Canutillo, Anthony, Fabens, Clint, Bowie, San Elizario, and Austin High Schools.

This contest served as a tune up for the bands and was great for getting some last minute pointers from the judges before the UIL contest next Saturday. All the El Paso-area bands will compete in the state- sanctioned contest which this year will advance 2-, 4-, and 6-A bands to the Area marching band contests for each respective class.

Those contests will take place in Amarillo for the 2-As, Lubbock for the 4-As, and Odessa for the 6-As on October 27th.

Locally, there is plenty more action coming up in Band-tober. The aforementioned UIL contest is next Saturday, October 13, at the SAC. This contest will be for ratings, just as today’s contest was, with qualifying bands advancing to the Area round of contests on the 27th.

On October 20, bands from Texas and New Mexico will take the field again at the SAC for the SISD Marchfest. The Marchfest contest uses a 7- person judging panel and is a two-round contest.

After prelims, 6 bands from the small band class will advance to a finals round, while 8 bands in the large band class will advance. No division ratings are given at this contest. Instead, the bands are given numerical scores and ranked in first place, second place, and so on.

The experience of competing for those rankings will come in handy for the last weekend in October. The advancing bands attending the Area contests will be ranked, and the highest -placing bands will advance to the State marching band contest.

This contest is held at the Alamodome in San Antonio on November 5,6, and 7.

Meanwhile, most of those bands not advancing to Area contests will instead journey up to Las Cruces for the NMSU Tournament of Bands, also taking place on October 27th. This contest, too, uses a 7-person judging panel and a prelims/finals format.

The Tournament of Bands for many years has served as the penultimate contest for bragging rights around the area, and promises some amazing marching show action for local band fans.


Author – Lorraine Kubala

The complete schedule can be viewed on the ‘Musical Notes- The Blog’ page on Facebook.  

Click here for a complete listing of all the ‘Bandtober’ Events


Once again, the El Paso Herald-Post will be providing band fans with LIVE, STREAMING coverage of SISD’s Marchfest on October 20, 2018!   Our day-long coverage starts at 7:20 and goes on through the finals!

Bel Air Band Earns Top Spot at Thunderbird Invitational

The Coronado Band’s Thunderbird Invitational, held on September 29, kicked off what should be 5 weeks of some great band action here in the Borderland.

Thirteen bands, along with the host T-Bird band, performed for a panel of 7 judges, which scored each organization in a narrow set of criteria and offered suggestions on improving all aspects of each organization’s show.

The 7 judge’s scores were then combined to rank each band in their respective classes and all together to determine the top 8 finishers, who advanced to a second, finals round to compete once more.

This competition featured three classes of bands, based on the number of wind players in each group.

Class A was for bands marching 40 wind players or less, while Class AA was for groups with 41 to 99 wind players, and Class AAA was for bands fielding blocks of wind players 100 members and up.

In addition to scoring the bands, the groups were also vying for caption awards, which recognize either smaller groups of performers or performance elements of the shows.

In the preliminary round, Class A was won by Riverside High School, who also received the General Effect caption award. Silver High School, from Silver City, New Mexico, finished second and nabbed the Visual Effect caption award while Irvin High School won the Music caption and finished third.

As the top class A finisher, Riverside also performed as an exhibition group at the start of the Finals competition. Class AA was won by Eastlake High School, who swept all three caption awards for that class. In second place was Americas High School, followed in third by Parkland High.

In Class AAA, Bel Air came out in the top spot in prelims. Montwood followed in second place, and Pebble Hills finsihed in the third spot. Bel Air swept all captions in their class.

8 bands advanced to finals, and at the end of the evening scores and more caption awards were announced.

Bel Air held on to the top spot with a score of 82.95, followed by Pebble Hills with a 80.05, and Montwood with a 79.00. Eastlake finished in 4th place with a 78.05, followed by Del Valle with a 74.5 and Parkland High with a 67.90.

Americas High School followed close behind the 7th spot with a score of 67.75, and El Dorado High School rounded out the top 8 with a score of 65.00.

The following caption awards were handed out: The outstanding soloist award went to clarinet soloist Peyton Bell of Parkland High School. The outstanding drum major award went to Kayla Melendez and James Hernanadez of Eastlake High School, who also won the award for outstanding auxlliary.

Outstanding woodwind section went to Pebble Hills, Bel Air won outstanding brass, and Montwood received outstanding percussion. The General Effect caption award went to Bel Air, while Pebble Hills tied with Bel Air for the Music caption.

Bel Air also repeated from prelims as the Visual caption winner.

Next up for many of these bands is the El Paso ISD marching contest being held Saturday, October 6 at Franklin High School.

This contest is a criteria-based contest, where the bands are adjudicated on a rating system. Each band will perform only once and will be awarded a division 1,2,3,4,or 5, with 1 denoting a “superior” performance and a 5 meaning a “poor” performance.

In this type of contest it is possible for every band to receive a division 1 if each rates high enough on the scoring guidelines, so it’s a fun contest to watch. This is a large contest, with the first band stepping off at 7:45 in the morning and performances commencing every 15 minutes afterwards. Award breaks will be held.


Author – Lorraine Kubala

The complete schedule can be viewed on the ‘Musical Notes- The Blog’ page on Facebook.  

Click here for a complete listing of all the ‘Bandtober’ Events


Once again, the El Paso Herald-Post will be providing band fans with LIVE, STREAMING coverage of SISD’s Marchfest on October 20, 2018!   Our day-long coverage starts at 7:20 and goes on through the finals!

El Paso Area Bands set to Compete in Socorro ISD’s 24th Annual Marchfest Saturday

Twenty-four marching bands throughout the El Paso region will compete in the Socorro Independent School District’s 24th annual Marchfest at the SAC. Judging will be based on a national competition standard with a preliminary/finals format.

Each band will compete to qualify for the finals. Four bands from the small group (Class B) and eight bands from the large group (Class A) will advance to finals. Awards will follow the final performance.

“This year we have invited eight nationally recognized judges from around the country,” said Ron Pingor, assistant director of Fine Arts for SISD. “We will have a new format and new set of awards in addition to the rating awards.”

This year, bands will be recognized for having the most outstanding wind, percussion, drum majors or color guards. Also, awards for outstanding general effect and marching execution will be given.

The event is open to the public, and offers great family entertainment. General admission fee is $5; children under the age of three are free. Media opportunities include video of the performing groups, the awards presentation and interviews with student-musicians and band directors.

What:             SISD 24th annual Marchfest

Who:              El Paso area marching bands, directors, parents

Where:           Student Activities Complex (SAC) 1300 Joe Battle Blvd.

When:            Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016

  Performances begin at 8:30 a.m. Schedule:

‘Bandtober’ kicks into high gear with three events this week

Band performances aren’t just for halftime anymore. The 2015 Band Marching season started last week at Andress High’s Marching Invitational, but now kicks into high gear this week.

The first of three important competitions gets underway tonight at Socorro ISD’s Eastlake High, as they host the 2015 Percussion Invitational at 5 p.m.

The fun continues on Friday with El Paso ISD’s Marching Invitational at Bowie High. The two day event will feature bands from all over the area, competing in 15 minute segments.

To view the bands and their order of competition, click HERE. Awards will be handed out on both Friday and Saturday. Admission for the event is $5.

Across town on Saturday, Socorro ISD is set to host the 23rd Annual MarchFest at Student Activities Complex (1300 Joe Battle Blvd.)

 Thirteen marching bands from around the El Paso region will compete all day. Judging will be based on the University Interscholastic League (UIL) standards and bands will be awarded ratings of Division 1, 2 or 3. The awards will follow the final performance.

 The event is open to the public, and offers great family entertainment. General admission fee is $5; children under the age of three are free.

March Fest schedule can be found at HERE

As for the other events during ‘Bandtober,’

October 10, 2015 – UIL Region 22 Marching Contest Socorro ISD, SAC

October 17, 2015 –  T-Bird Invitational Coronado HS

October 24, 2015 –  UIL Area Marching Contest Socorro ISD, SAC

October 24, 2015 –  Zia Marching Band Fiesta Albuquerque, NM

November 2-3, 2015 –  UIL State Marching Contest San Antonio, TX

November 7, 2015 – Tournament of Bands Las Cruces,

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